SUU to Everywhere

Samantha Ryals ('17)

Samantha Ryals ('17) | SUU to US Senate


Originally published on June 10, 2019.

Upon graduating high school, Samantha Ryals didn’t have a career path she wanted to pursue. However, after taking a campus tour of Southern Utah University, she knew the school felt like home and was ready to dive into her academic journey as a T-Bird.

Samantha still longed for a clear direction and received support from various professors and mentors. “One of my professor suggested I worry about doing what I enjoy, and I would find something along the way,” said Samantha.

This encouraged Samantha to become involved in everything she could at SUU from the Service Corps to the Honors Program. She discovered she was capable of more than she could have imagined, and on top of all her other obligations, Samantha completed a double major in Psychology and Criminal Justice with a minor in Legal Studies.

Towards the end of Samantha’s time at SUU, one of her mentors helped her earn a prestigious internship with the State Legislature. “I will never forget her smiling at me and telling me that she had a feeling I was going to do amazing things,” Samantha said.

This internship springboarded Samantha’s career, and she now works as the staff assistant for the Senate Republican Conference. When asked about her responsibilities Samantha said, “On a daily basis I act as first contact for senators and their communications teams in the office as well as help the different teams with projects and deadlines.”

The community support and the experiential learning she obtained at SUU prepared Samantha to confidently enter the workforce in the nation’s capital.